Singapore ‘inching’ into our F1 turf

The moment we lacked a bit, the Republic of Red Dot just a mile of the coast of southern most city in the mainland Asia will make an inroad into our turf. Soon it will inch its way and deeply entrenched, taking over our turf, from our own wooly eyes.

Read this report from the official Formula 1 website, www.formula1.com :

Singapore confirms 2008 night race

11 May 2007

The announcement follows the agreement of a five-year deal between FOM CEO Bernie Ecclestone, Singapore entrepreneur Mr Ong Beng Seng, and the Singapore Tourism Board.

“I am very pleased to welcome Singapore to the Formula One family and we look forward to this exotic addition to the championship,” said Ecclestone. “This will be the first fully lit street race in Formula One.

“As a night race we anticipate it will quickly establish itself as one of the most dramatic and atmospheric races on our calendar. I know the Formula One drivers, teams and fans are all looking forward to coming to Singapore next year.”

The new race is scheduled to take place towards the end of the calendar in September or October. The timing of the night event means it can be broadcast at a convenient time for European TV audiences as well as thrilling local fans. It is also expected to have a hugely positive economic impact on the region.

“We are delighted to have reached a deal to bring this landmark event to Singapore, and look forward to working with F1, the Singapore Tourism Board and the business community to deliver a great race and vibrant support events together with the very best of Singapore’s famed hospitality and cuisine.” Ong added.

The Singapore Grand Prix will take place on public roads around the Marina Bay area. The design proposal includes powerful lighting systems that will replicate daylight conditions and the most stringent safety protocols will be applied to ensure driver and spectator safety.

Grandstand seating and hospitality areas lining the track will be able to accommodate more than 80,000 spectators, while a permanent pit area with deluxe paddock facilities will be built adjacent to the existing Singapore Flyer complex.

“It will be more than just a motor race,” commented Singapore’s Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Mr S Iswaran. “We envision it to be a national festival, and one that presents many opportunities for participation for everyone, both visitors and Singaporeans alike.

“Singaporeans are excited about the race coming to Singapore and I share their enthusiasm. Singapore looks forward to welcoming the Formula One drivers, teams and fans to Singapore next year.”

The Singapore Grand Prix will be managed by Singapore GP Pte Ltd, a newly incorporated race promotion company formed between Komoco Motors and regional events company Lushington Entertainments, via its parent company Reef Enterprises.

Few years ago, Singapore’s longtime iron-fist master puppeteer Lee Kuan Yew admitted that it was a mistake Singapore did not work on getting the Formula 1 circuit in Asia and envied Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad for successfully bringing the highly prestigious world motorsport event to Malaysia and made it a significant calender in its annual event.

Since hosting the Malaysian GP and a permanent feature in the annual prestigious Formula 1 racing series, it has brought RM billions worth of free publicity and media promotions about Malaysia to almost all corners of the world. Dr. Mahathir’s far sightedness and strategic mindedness had paid off.

Now, it seems Singapore is working hard to get itself to get into the circuit and soon enough KL Sepang GP would bummed off in favour of Singapore’s night street race, introduced from 2008 onwards.

Considering what we already achieved, it is ashame if eventually we reached there.

 

*An update on the Formula One issue, (The Star, Sunday, 13V07):

 

Nod for KL to host F1 until 2015

PETALING JAYA: All issues in the contract to extend Malaysia’s hosting of Formula One races until 2015 have been ironed out with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and it is now up to the Cabinet to give its approval. 

Sepang International Circuit (SIC) chairman Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir said a meeting with Ecclestone in London on Wednesday had seen all issues “played out”. 

“We will now pass it to the Youth and Sports Ministry and it will be tabled in Cabinet for approval soon,” he said on Friday.  

Malaysia holds the right to host Formula One races until 2010. 

He added that SIC had also agreed to a new provision in the contract where it agreed to night racing at the Sepang F1 Circuit. 

Mokhzani said that Ecclestone was playing an “active part” in trying to determine the type of lighting needed to see the start of such racing in Formula One. 

“We have had nine years of a working relationship with Bernie and have put things in the proper context,” he said.  

He added that Malaysia would have accomplished what it set out to do in terms of hosting Formula One races even if the country did not play host beyond 2010.  

“If that happened, then we would have hosted for 12 years. We would have done what we need to do with Formula One,” he said.  

The accomplishments, he said, included developing motor sports and promoting the country in terms of tourism.  

 

Published in: on May 12, 2007 at 01:03  Comments (6)